Everybody up here looks like somebody. It's the weirdest thing.
It's not like when I go to most cities, and everyone looks familiar, like I might have seen them before. It's also not like the last time I was in Las Vegas, when every girl I saw reminded me of either LaptopGirl or Hatgirl. Nope, up here in Bellingham, everybody looks like a specific person that I know.
All hyperbole aside, it's a phenomenon that's happening often enough that it freaks me out a little.
Up here, I've had a beer with a girl who looked so much like SassyGirl that I almost gave her a hug when she sat next to me. I've gotten my hairs cut by a girl I dated in high school. I've seen MusicalYuppieDude lose badly at poker. I've seen CrazyGirl get shitfaced enough to make moves on TallLady. I've seen my sister Dina having dinner at Olive Garden. I go to a gas station in the mornings and buy a Diet Pepsi from the fucking dipshit, of all people.
And, of course, I've seen HatGirl and LaptopGirl about twenty times each.
I could go on and on. There have probably been fifty instances of these things.
Sometimes, it's felt like I wasn't gone at all.
I got some sleep. About four hours before my phone woo-hooed me awake. And then work called with some minor crisis. Better than no sleep, which is what I got Saturday night. I was so sad Saturday night. I made quite a spectacle of myself, I'm sure. Saying my goodbyes to everyone and everything that matters to me. Clinging to HatGirl and LaptopGirl as if my life depended on being with them. Which it does.
See, when I left for Washington in November, I suspected that it would be tough. But Saturday night, as I prepared to return for another month, I knew what it meant. There was no doubt. No hope.
But then there was a screw-up, and I didn't have to leave Sunday morning after all. I got myself an extra day. Not that I did much with it. Sat around dreading the feeling of isolation that was waiting for me in Bellingham, as far away from here as you can get, and still be in the continental U.S.
I leave for the airport in an hour and a half. Then ninety minutes to Chicago, then four hours to Seattle, then two hours driving to Bellingham. Each minute and each mile it will get worse and worse.
People try to help. They really do, and I really appreciate it, sometimes. They tell me to use my trip as an opportunity. To get better. To realize that I can, once again, enjoy my own company. But they don't understand. I don't want help. I need to miss them. I need to have a reason to come back, to get up in the mornings, to keep breathing.
People don't want me to be sad anymore. I don't know if it's so they'll feel more comfortable around me, or because of guilt, or out of genuine concern. It's probably a combination of those things. But they don't understand. It's not about the sadness. It's about the love. The sadness is a side-effect, thrust upon me by these circumstances. But it's not what's important. It's not what I cling to.
To get rid of the sadness, I'd have to get rid of the love. And that can't be done. Not by me. Every time I've tried, it's felt like I was putting a gun to my head, about to pull the trigger. This is so much a part of me, and has been for so long, that to end it would be to end everything that matters to me. It would be suicide.
Now, I fully support a person's right to end their own life on their own terms, but it's not for me. So I can't. I won't. Instead, I'll suffer. It's what I do. It's all I can do, for now. For the next month.
After that, who knows?
You know what's funny? Or maybe not funny, but I call it funny because it keeps my wrists intact and my brains inside my skull?
It's always the same thing. Every year on this date, I try to do one thing and I end up doing another. I try to reflect on the year's events, and I end up having a séance of sorts.
Well, except for last year. But last year was special.
Tonight, I spent midnight alone. After last year, I really and truly thought that I would never be alone again on New Year's Eve. But, I was.
Oh, well, right?
This year, instead of the usual fifteen minutes, I was outside for an hour and a half. Well, it was an eventful year, you might think.
Not about 2009 being eventful, but about that having anything at all to do with my being outside for seventy-five minutes longer than usual.
What went wrong? What went right? What progress was made? What setbacks were encountered?
How can I do better, in 2010? How can I be worthy, in 2010?
Hi! How are you? I miss you.
The year 2009 saw lots of things. But they're all irrelevant. All except for one thing. One person.
I didn't want to have a séance this year. But, I expected it to happen.
And, it did.